Pickering Report

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2002 Retired Members' Conference
10 October 2002

In July 2002, a Government appointment review by Alan Pickering, former chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds produced its report A Simpler Way to Better Pensions.

This Conference believes that the proposals contained in the Pickering Report will have little impact on the current crisis and do nothing to boost employee confidence in pension schemes.

We are concerned that the report proposes the ending of index linking which provides some protection against inflation. We believe that this will deter many people from joining schemes providing pensions which do not hold their purchasing power in retirement.

In addition, although we support in principle the proposal to reintroduce compulsory membership of pension schemes, we could not support compulsion to stakeholder schemes with a totally inadequate contribution by the employer of just 4 percent of employee pay. This can only result in more pensioners in the future being dependent on the state.

Therefore this Conference requests that the National Executive Council continue through appropriate channels to argue that it is essential to promote an environment to encourage good quality schemes and pensions build up. Stressing that this can only be achieved by ceasing the folly of closing good schemes and having the political will to impose realistic levels of contributions on employers and employees.